Exam is done with the use of various forms of ultrasound. With ultrasound, a probe is placed on the skin surface and sound waves are sent in to the body. Those sound waves bounce off everything under the skin (tissue, bone, muscle, blood vessels, etc..). The sound waves that return to the ultrasound probe are used by the ultrasound machine to create an image of what is below the surface. Ultrasound is a very safe technology.
Ultrasound is a very safe tool, and patients are not exposed to radiation during ultrasound exams.
During the exam, the technologist must apply a water based ultrasound gel to the skin surface. The ultrasound gel allows the ultrasound probe to make good contact with the skin, allowing the technologist to obtain the best possible images. The ultrasound gel also makes the exam more comfortable for patients, allowing the probe to glide more smoothly over the skin surface. It is very rare, but on occasion we have seen patients experience a very mild temporary skin irritation in areas where the ultrasound gel was present.